How to Help Your Underweight Dog Gain Weight Safely
For various reasons, it happens that a dog loses weight and that it is necessary to make him gain a few kilos so that he is in perfect health. How do you know if a dog really needs to gain weight? What foods and types of food should be favored to make it fat?
How do you know if a dog needs to gain weight?
It is sometimes difficult to be objective about your 4-legged friend, and it can be tempting to want to make him gain a little weight when he does not really need it.
To find out if your dog is too thin, it is necessary to weigh him (the most suitable and reliable scales being those of veterinarians) taking into account his breed, age, and any physiological specificities.
You can also observe the appearance of your animal: take a little height, and see if you see its silhouette thinning out slightly at the level of the waist. If this is the case, nothing abnormal, but everything depends on its race. For example, greyhounds look lean even when they really aren't.
Finally, palpate your dog's flanks: you should feel his ribs under a thin layer of skin and fat. If they are really visible to the naked eye, you probably have cause for concern, as well as the lumbar vertebrae and the pelvis.
Increase the amount of food: You can start by increasing the amount of food your dog eats. You should do this gradually, over a period of a few days or a week. Start by adding 10% more food than your dog's current daily intake and monitor their weight and appetite.
Top Strategies for Fattening Up Your Skinny Dog
Choose high-calorie dog food: Look for high-calorie dog food that is designed for active or working dogs. This type of food is formulated to provide a higher level of energy and nutrients, which can help your dog gain weight.
Add some healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as fish oil, can help your dog gain weight. You can add a teaspoon of fish oil to your dog's food once a day. Another option is to add a small amount of coconut oil to your dog's food.
Add some protein: Adding more protein to your dog's diet can also help with weight gain. You can add a small amount of cooked, lean meat to your dog's food.
Provide regular exercise: Exercise is important for your dog's overall health, but you should avoid excessive exercise when trying to fatten them up. Short walks or gentle playtime can help stimulate their appetite and maintain muscle mass.
Offer high-quality treats: Treats can be a great way to add extra calories to your dog's diet. Look for high-quality, nutrient-dense treats that are made with healthy ingredients. Avoid treats that are high in sugar or fillers.
Consider supplements: There are a variety of supplements available that can help support healthy weight gain in dogs. Some supplements contain healthy fats, while others contain vitamins and minerals that support muscle growth and overall health.
Avoid table scraps: While it may be tempting to share your food with your dog, table scraps can actually be harmful to their health. Many human foods are high in fat, sugar, and salt, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Monitor your dog's weight: Keep track of your dog's weight and body condition score to make sure they are gaining weight in a healthy way. You should also monitor their overall health and behavior to ensure they are not experiencing any negative side effects from their new diet.
The Dos and Don'ts of Fattening Up Your Dog
Choose wet food over dry: Wet dog food tends to be higher in calories than dry food, and it also has a higher water content, which can help keep your dog hydrated. Consider switching to a high-quality wet dog food to help your dog gain weight.
Feed smaller, more frequent meals: Feeding your dog smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can help keep their metabolism active and promote healthy weight gain. Try offering 3-4 small meals per day instead of one or two larger meals.
Be patient: Healthy weight gain is a gradual process, and it can take time for your dog to gain weight in a healthy way. Be patient and consistent in your efforts, and monitor your dog's progress closely to ensure they are gaining weight in a healthy way.
Avoid feeding too many treats: While treats can be a great way to add extra calories to your dog's diet, it's important not to overdo it. Too many treats can lead to weight gain and other health problems, so be sure to offer them in moderation.
Consider working with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist: If you're having trouble getting your dog to gain weight, consider working with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist. They can help you develop a customized feeding plan that meets your dog's unique needs and promotes healthy weight gain.
Remember that healthy weight gain is a gradual process and it can take several weeks or even months to see significant changes in your dog's weight. Be patient and consistent in your efforts, and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions along the way.
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